life on pine

City Honeymoon

mini travel guide: munich, germany

Kate ParrishComment

earlier this year we visited our friends in berlin, a city notoriously known for it’s history, energy, creative culture and wild party scene [ check out our city guide here ]. munich on the other hand, quite honestly was never really on my radar. i had only heard tales of oktoberfest and mainly pictured lots of pretzels, lederhosen and steins of beer. opposite berlin in many ways, the city is more known for being the capital of bavaria, fairly strict, very clean, economically strong, and of course biergartens a plenty. i hadn't heard people rave about it nearly as much – that being said, we absolutely loved every minute of our time here and found it to be the most underrated western european city we visited. 

with its charming old town and medieval, gothic & baroque buildings – it really puts on an impressive architecture tour. munich oozes with history and tradition, yet the war was far kinder on their 16th century buildings compared to most of germany. the creative scene here is strong  and growing, too. from interesting museums to concept stores to unique bars & restaurants, we are lucky enough to know some locals that gave us the insider's tour.

another huge perk for munich is their proximity to the alps and northern italy, both only a couple hours by car. on a clear day you can see the alps behind the skyline and the mountain culture is a big part of bavarian tradition. i immediately knew this would not be my last visit to this cool city and i am already looking forward to coming back.



  • cafe kosmos right next to the central metro station (Hauptbahnhof) and usually packed with locals grabbing drinks after work. 
  • hoover & floyd Had cake here - supes coz
  • cafe vorholzer great views of the city and is actually on the rooftop of a university building. it's amazing!
  • schumann’s tagesbar OG cafe and long time local's favorite. great for morning coffee or an afternoon meal on their sunny terrace. 


  • biergarten viktualienmarkt an absolute must – in the middle of it all and so so cozy. the currywurst (pictured) is out of this world!
  • augustiner-keller biergarten with towering chestnut trees and outdoor seating for almost 5,000 people and many  lederhosen-clad locals eager to imbibe late into the night.
  • hey luigi candlelit tables and great gin options. great vibes here and some of the best cocktails in town.
  • waldwirtschaft 20 minutes south of city center, is this outdoor biergarten overlooking the valley and river with live jazz in the warmer months and the best spare ribs in town.
  • goldene bar coffee, cocktails, meals or cakes... this place is awesome and one of our favorite stops. the coziest place to hang and relax, it’s right next to the surfing river, so i'd stop here before or after.


  • dallmayr huge indoor market that has really good local delicacies. if the weather is bad, then this is a great place to stay inside and explore. there is a munich eataly now too and it's amazing! 
  • königsquelle classic interior with a cozy outside patio, known for a really good schnitzel.
  • fei scho vietnamese with a bavarian twist – very funky, hip and good!
  • nudo italian fusion spot serving really good homemade dishes. great for lunch or a place to start your evening.
  • pommes boutique typical belgian fries along with a long list of sauce choices and an organic currywurst that is delish.
  • jodlerwirt kitschy bavarian bar & restaurant that has live music often and fun atmosphere for group dinners.
  • super danke! creative juice and smoothie  shop with a couple locations around town.

* the metro system is very reliable and the best way to get around, they also have uber which is convenient too. 


  • englischer garten their equivalent of central park, but not as pretty in the winter months. There is an outdoor biergarten here called the seehaus which is pretty to sit at and have a beer on a warm day.
  • lenbachhaus & brandhorst two really great museums with really cool exhibits, some modern and older stuff too. Munich has a few world reknown museums (alte pinakothek, deutsches museum, etc) but depending on your taste, you may find the older ones a bit boring.
  • müller´sches volksbad a really nice bath house in a beautiful old building and area along the isar river.
  • vikktualienmarkt daily food market and square, developed from an original farmers' market into a popular market for gourmets and more.
  • eisbach the famous surfing river and you will find surfers here year round. can't leave without checking this out! 
  • hike from schliersee to tegernsee take a 90 minute train (or rent a car) to the small village of schliersee and hike from lake to lake in the alps. it is beautiful and both towns are very cute.
  • neuschwanstein castle ~2 hours by car or train, our next post will explain our visit here in more detail 
  • christmas market: if you're visiting in the winter time, this is a must. read more about our 4 favorite european christmas markets here


  • marienplatz the city's main square and where you can see the famous rathaus building.
  • st. peter’s church munich's oldest church – climb the 306 stairs on a sunny day for some of the city's best city views.
  • nymphenburg palace  200-hectare palace estate with ornate design, symmetrical baroque gardens and lots of history.



rome: quick tips to avoid touristy spots [from a local]

Kate ParrishComment

as i mentioned in this post, the blue hostel's owner, ercole, hooked us up with a ton of recommendations when we arrived and we could tell how legit they were after the first restaurant we stopped in. from there, we followed the map they provided for almost our entire visit [4 days] and could not have been happier when we left. see our full rome travel guide  here.

BREAKFAST / LUNCH: panella old school bakery that prepares all types of pastries, great coffee here from a machine that is almost art | osteria della suburra a local favorite, nothing special in terms of decor but food is delicious | core de roma decorated in history of the roma futbol team, delicious traditional Italian for a ‘local’s lunch’. |  zia rosetta organic juice, espressos and gourmet sliders.

DINNER: @ ada e mario low key family style trattoria that is affordable and delicious - nothing fancy but very good. | augusto: only a few tables and one of the best meals we had (be there right before 8pm) | roscioli very buzzy and popular spot, must get a reservation for dinner. the carbonara is out of this world. |  pizzeria dar poeta, must stop here to try their pizza

DRINKS: enoteca cul de sac: one of the best wine spots in town with thousands of bottles to choose from | akbar cocktail bar to grab a drink at and maybe hear some live music. 

EXPLORE: we loved the trastevere & monti neighborhoods and spent a lot of time wandering this area. specifically via urbana [street] where we loved king size vintageLOL moda arte design and mercato monti urban market roma. | eataly is a bit of a trek to get to but we couldn't have loved it more. an absolute must for wine and snacks, in my opinion. | sunset and a bottle of wine at gianicolo hill | for the touristy-historical things, we tried to arrive as early as possible to avoid crowds. the crowd-avoiding ended up not being possible, so we spent a lot more of our time just walking around the city and not stressing too much about seeing every single thing.  


lodging review: the blue hostel in rome

Kate Parrish1 Comment


bonjourno, italy! this country has been on our radar since day one of the trip because my BFF got married in tuscany on october 8. we arrived in rome a few weeks early to explore and slowly make our way to florence.  rome was on our list entirely because the flight made sense – but then we realized neither of us had really spent that much time there and that we should stay a while. i'm so freakin happy we did. to be honest i thought rome would just feel like a big stressful touristy city and i was 100% wrong. 

after a late night arrival and a lost backpack, we were warmly welcomed at blue hostel by one of the epic owners, ercole. we couldn't have felt more at home. let me start by saying the blue hostel is not really a hostel. it's a very cute little boutique hotel tucked in an apartment building, refurbished in 2012. the timber ceilings were discovered by accident during the renovation and date back to 1804 – giving the rooms a very cozy vibe. the decor is clean and warm, the shower is perfection, and ercole hooks you up with delicious [endless] coffee.

when we arrived ercole sat us down and walked us through his masterpiece of a map that he's put together over the years. it shows you some of the tourist sites, but also goes into full detail on all of his favorite places as a long time local. many of the restaurants he sent us to had minimal tourists and we experienced some of the best food, wine and exploring because of him. the hostel itself is also in a prime walk-to-everything location [right next to basilica papale di santa maria maggiore] and ercole made sure we knew where we were going before we left each morning. a full list of some of our favorite spots [all recommended by the blue hostel]. rooms start at about $100/night. 

rome travel guide here


* this stay was part of a collaboration, all opinions are my own. 


where to eat, drink & explore in marrakech

Kate ParrishComment

it's almost impossible to wander marrakech for more than 10 minutes without stopping in awe of amazement of something or someone. the history, culture, and modern chic-ness is so present from the moment you arrive [see our video from marrakech, here]. 

a true melting pot of tourists and locals alike, there is something for literally everyone here. an almost sensory overload [in the best possible way] the city is constantly thriving. spend one [or two or three] of your days getting lost in the ancient walled medina. spend another exploring ville nouvelle "the new town", filled with trendy boutiques and cafes. there are no shortage of vibrant colors and things to see in this city – with the energizing souks, mosques, gardens, markets, fancy hotels, live music (crazy clubs?! apparently) and constant smells of mint tea and spices around every corner. 

the nightly market [jemaa el-fnaa] is also worth dedicating a few of your evenings to. even if you don't plan to eat here, walking through is a true experience. the square is packed with food stalls, juice stalls, drummers, singers,  fire-breathers, snake charmers, henna artists and what feels like thousands of other street entertainers. the shopping here is of course on another level as well, and you can dedicate full days to just haggling your heart away. the full travel guide is in the works, however here are some of our immediate favorites:

EAT: nomads | jemaa el-fnaa [we loved stalls 5, 110 and 42] |  cafe arabe | latitude 31
DRINK: el fenn riadkosybar | kechmara | le bar churchill
EXPLORE: 33 rue majorelle [shopping] | majorelle gardens | the maison de la photographie | ben youssef mosque | bahia palace

photo journal: lisbon street vibes

Kate ParrishComment

as i mentioned in this post – lisbon was almost an impossible city to not take photos in. every turn, every street held it's own unique beauty. some with such an old, almost run-down feel  [in the most beautiful way] – some with a completely new, young and rejuvenated vibe. the tiles, the tuk tuks, the cable cars. the people sipping espresso or wine on the cobblestoned streets at all hours of the day. or drinking beers and laughing in the alleys well into the night – there is truly an addictive energy surrounding this town to make you never want to leave.

here are some of our favorite photos from walking around the city to inspire your next visit .